Las Cruces mayor self-finances re-election bid; PAC aids challenger

Las Cruces City Hall

Heath Haussamen /

Las Cruces City Hall

Ken Miyagishima is largely self-funding his bid for a third term as Las Cruces’ mayor.

In all, Miyagishima’s campaign raised $41,828.84 and spent $39,355.09 as of Oct. 19, according to a finance report he filed last week. He has loaned and given his campaign a combined $31,742.59. And Miyagishima’s insurance company has donated $2,347.37, bringing his self-financing up to $34,089.96, or 81 percent of the total amount his campaign has raised.

The Miyagishima campaign’s spending in 2015 is thus far below what it spent to win re-election in 2011 — $65,123.88. But his spending far outpaces that of his opponents in this year’s Nov. 3 election.

One of Miyagishima’s challengers, outgoing City Councilor Miguel Silva, had raised $14,815.28 and spent $13,870.95 as of Oct. 19, according to his report. Silva’s biggest donor in the last reporting period — state Rep. Terry McMillan, R-Las Cruces — gave $1,000.

The third candidate in the mayor’s race, Gina Montoya-Ortega, reported raising $3,717.62 and spending $2,728.02 as of Oct. 19. She loaned her campaign $2,728.02, or 73 percent of the total raised.

Though Miyagishima leads in candidate fundraising and spending, the National Association of Realtors Fund is helping Silva keep pace. The group reported raising $14,383.91 from its members and spending all of it in support of Silva.

No other political committees have thus far reported to the City Clerk’s Office that they are raising and spending money on the election.

Here’s a rundown of the fundraising and spending candidates in other races reported as of Oct. 19:

District 1

In the race to replace Silva as the District 1 councilor, Eli Guzman led the way, reporting raising $13,038 through Oct. 19 and spending $10,046.55. His biggest donations in the most recent reporting period were $2,300 from Louis Biad’s Rezolex LTD and $2,000 from Oscar Andrade’s Pic Quik Stores.

Guzman’s opponent, Kasandra Gandara, reported raising $10,918.32 and spending $8,915.62. Her biggest donations in the most recent reporting period were a total of $895 in cash and in-kind contributions from Martha Martinez and $353.83 in cash from Elizabeth Bardwell.

There’s a third candidate in the race, Steve Calderazzo. He tried to drop out on Oct. 5 but it was too late. His name remains on the ballot but he’s not campaigning, so he’s unlikely to win.

Nonetheless, Calderazzo reported raising $1,350 and spending $594.30 before he tried to drop out.

District 2

In the District 2 race, incumbent Gregory Z. Smith reported raising $7,903.40 and spending $6,241.12 as of Oct. 19. In the most recent reporting period his largest donation of $2,000 came from Pic Quik Stores.

Smith’s challenger, Philip VanVeen, reported raising $4,754.41 and spending $3,620.18. His largest donation in the most recent reporting period — $400 — came from Sara Grill.

District 4

Richard Hall led the way in fundraising in the open District 4 race. He reported raising $13,068.32 as of Oct. 19 and spending $2,294.68. In the most recent fundraising period his two largest donations of $2,300 apiece came from companies tied to the Biad family — Biad Chile and Rezolex.

Jack Eakman came in second. He reported raising $12,016 and spending $10,321.60. His largest donation in the most recent fundraising period of $1,910 came from S.J. Camuñez.

Gilbert Vasquez reported raising $2,567.14 and spending $1,739.53. His largest donation of $600 came from Jerry Settles.

Presiding municipal judge

In the municipal judge race, both candidates are self-financing. Kieran Ryan reported loaning his campaign $7,690.20 and spending the same amount.

William M. Kinsella reported loaning his campaign $800 and spending $634.93.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from, and written by Heath Haussamen. Read the original article here.